Michael Beasley returns to Heat

February, 26, 2015
Feb 26
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MIAMI -- Looking for help for the stretch run, the Miami Heat turned to a familiar face.

Michael Beasley is with the Heat for a third time, signing a 10-day contract on Thursday with the team that drafted him with the No. 2 overall pick seven years ago.

Beasley's addition comes less than a week after the Heat learned they would lose All-Star forward Chris Bosh for the remainder of the season because of blood clots on one of his lungs. Miami (25-31) entered Thursday in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Beasley spent this season in China, putting up monster numbers, including a 59-point performance in his league's All-Star game. He has been working out in Miami for several days, even practicing in the team facility -- a courtesy that the team extended to him, and a sign that yet another Beasley reunion could be looming.

And now it's official, with Beasley wearing a team T-shirt as he signed his contract Thursday. He is in New Orleans and expected to be available when the Heat visit the Pelicans on Friday night.

Beasley spent his first two seasons in Miami, then was traded to Minnesota in the summer of 2010 as one in the series of moves that ultimately allowed the Heat to bring Bosh and LeBron James in to play alongside Dwyane Wade.

Beasley has been a proven scorer, and that's something that Miami needs. The Heat rank 28th in scoring in the NBA this season, though their offensive pace has picked up since acquiring point guard Goran Dragic from Phoenix last week.


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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Luol Deng had 21 points, Dwyane Wade added 18 and the Miami Heat rallied to defeat the Orlando Magic 93-90 in overtime Wednesday night.

Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Heat have won three of four and improved to 3-1 since losing Chris Bosh for the season with a blood clot in his lung.

The Magic squandered an eight-point lead with less than a minute play in the fourth quarter, allowing the Heat to send the game to extra time.

Nik Vucevic had all five of the Magic's point in overtime, and finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 13 points and a career -high 13 rebounds.

Orlando struggled from the free throw line, going just 18 for 31 for the game.


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Gordon's Shoe Struggles

February, 25, 2015
Feb 25
8:27
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Magic forward Aaron Gordon struggled in the second quarter when he lost his shoe, put up a terrible shot, then committed a foul against the Heat.

TrueHoop TV Live

February, 25, 2015
Feb 25
12:00
PM ET
Strauss By Ethan Sherwood Strauss
ESPN.com
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We're chatting at 2 p.m. ET.

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Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, and Ryen Russillo break down nos. 33-31, the "Don't Tell Anyone, And I'll Deny It to the Death, But I'm Listening" group. These are stars like Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard, who are supposed to be off the table but aren't.

Perkins picked Cavs for LeBron

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24
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[+] EnlargeKendrick Perkins
Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsKendrick Perkins said he chose to join the Cavaliers for the opportunity to play with LeBron James.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Newly-acquired Kendrick Perkins suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time on Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons.

But before he slipped on his new No. 3 uniform the center explained how his decision where to continue his career came down to either joining his former coach, Doc Rivers, and the Los Angeles Clippers, or joining his former AAU teammate, LeBron James.

"It was extremely hard," said Perkins who finalized his contract with Cleveland earlier in the day after agreeing to a buyout from the Utah Jazz on Monday. "(Rivers) was real honest with me, he told me, 'I think your best two situations right now is either us or Cleveland.' So I was like, Doc? Or I have a chance to go play with The King. Doc? The King? Uh, I choose The King."

James and Perkins teamed up in high school for the Oakland (Calif.) Soldiers AAU squad before having several postseason battles in the pros.


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NBA Free Agency Look Ahead

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24
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Amin Elhassan broke down the top free agents in the upcoming NBA offseason and discussed which players have the best chances of changing teams.

NBA Top Plays

February, 24, 2015
Feb 24
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James Harden crossing up Ricky Rubio and making him look silly is the top play in the NBA.
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MIAMI -- Luol Deng made 11 of 14 shots and scored 29 points, Goran Dragic added 23 points and 10 assists, and the Miami Heat set a season high for scoring in a 119-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Dwyane Wade scored 18 for the Heat, who stayed in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference. Hassan Whiteside added 12 points and 14 rebounds for Miami, which shot 55 percent.

Hollis Thompson scored 22 points for Philadelphia, which got 18 from Nerlens Noel, 16 from Robert Covington, 12 from Henry Sims and 11 from Isaiah Canaan.

It was a good-news day all around for Miami. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game that Chris Bosh -- who has blood clots on a lung, a season-ending issue -- will be going home "soon" from a hospital where he's been treated since late last week.


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A Shot You Won't Believe

February, 23, 2015
Feb 23
9:18
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Philadelphia 76ers guard Isaiah Canaan made an off-balance shot over the hand of Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic with 6.3 seconds left in the second quarter.
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Heat guard Henry Walker soared for a one-handed jam in the second quarter against the 76ers.

Bosh news tips off a strange night in Miami

February, 22, 2015
Feb 22
1:50
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Gutierrez By Israel Gutierrez
ESPN.com
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MIAMI -- In its simplest description, Saturday night’s game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat was a battle of two teams fighting for playoff berths in their respective conferences.

But in no way would that sufficiently describe a game with so many levels of awkwardness and oddity and misfortune.

Hours before the game, the Heat finally announced what most had feared, that Chris Bosh will miss the remainder of this season while treating blood clots in his lungs, though it came with the positive prognosis of a full recovery and an expected return to the court next season.

The news seemed to reset this tumultuous Heat season once again, with the team having to incorporate newly acquired point guard Goran Dragic, only now as something of a replacement for Bosh instead of a complement to him.

That process started Saturday afternoon, with all of 45 minutes of preparation in the Heat’s practice court at the AmericanAirlines Arena, making for a predictably awkward beginning for Dragic.

[+] EnlargeGoran Dragic
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsHeat newcomer Goran Dragic was outplayed by former Heat guard Norris Cole, who was playing in his first game for the Pelicans.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans entered the game looking as close to full strength as they’ve been all season, essentially missing only Jrue Holiday, but having Anthony Davis back for a second game after missing All-Star weekend with a right shoulder injury.

That lasted less than nine minutes, as Davis reinjured that same shoulder, writhing in pain while play continued before leaving to the locker room and not returning.

About five minutes later, the news got worse for the Pelicans, as Ryan Anderson took a spill and needed help getting off the floor with what the team called a right knee sprain.

Pelicans coach Monty Williams said both players will be re-evaluated Sunday, likely with MRI exams, but he couldn’t offer much more in terms of a prognosis.

Williams said his franchise forward, though, was particularly frustrated.

“He was down about it,” Williams said. “He said, ‘It’s the second time, coach.’ I said, ‘Hey, you’re not going off to war. You’re not sitting in a hospital somewhere with some disease, so get your head up, that’s life.’

“Right away he perked up and said, ‘You’re right, coach.’ But he’s more frustrating with not being there for his teammates. He’s not frustrated with the injury.”

Bosh, however, was actually sitting in a hospital, presumably watching his team struggle mightily in his absence.

The Heat forward sent an Instagram photo and message thanking everyone for their positive messages and included the hashtag #Iwillbebacksoon.

As it turns out, one of his teammates revealed he can relate to Bosh’s situation, having experienced blood clots in his lungs following surgery for a foot injury during the 2010-11 season.

Udonis Haslem was already projected to miss significant time that season with a Lisfranc injury, so the Heat didn’t release news of the blood clots complication, but Haslem discussed it Saturday night.

“First of all, the pain, it’s excruciating,” Haslem said. “Every time you try to inhale to take a breath, it’s like somebody’s stabbing you in your lungs.

“Secondly, watching the games from a hospital bed on TV, it sucks. I remember watching the game on Christmas in L.A. from a hospital bed.

“Obviously the most important thing is that they caught it and they’re going to be able to take care of [Bosh], because it can be fatal. Basketball is secondary, and his health is the most important thing at this moment.”

Haslem returned approximately six months after his surgery and subsequent blood clots complication, including an inspiring performance in Game 2 against the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Haslem’s recovery could hearten Bosh and the Heat as they anticipate the 10-time All-Star’s return next season.

This season, however, already seems like an epic journey for Miami, filled with pitfalls, none greater than the loss of Bosh.

“I’ve seen a lot in this league, been in a lot of situations, but nothing like this,” Haslem, an 11-year veteran and three-time champion, said. “Every time it seems like we’re getting our heads above water and make strides to turn the corner, something else happens.

“But we continue to push through it. And one thing I’ll say about this team is we haven’t hung our head and felt sorry for ourselves.”

Dwyane Wade, playing in only his second game after missing seven games with his second significant hamstring injury of the season, said subtracting Bosh and adding Dragic will equal just one more unknown for Miami during this final playoff push.

“We gotta do it, right?” he said. “[These] are the challenges of this season for this team. We’ll see if we can do it. I believe that we can.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team has had internal discussions about adding another big (the team also traded center Justin Hamilton in the deal that nabbed Dragic), with names like Andray Blatche and Michael Beasley being tossed around in reports.

In the interim, Dragic will ironically have to play in three-guard lineups that were part of his frustration with the Phoenix Suns this season.

“The first thing we have to do is get everybody comfortable and our game might be a little different than it was with Chris, but we have our weapons,” Spoelstra said. “We just have some work to do, and tonight showed that.”

Adding just another layer to the bizarre, surreal Saturday evening, Norris Cole played his first NBA game in a uniform other than Miami’s, and it happened to be in his former home arena.

The Heat played a touching tribute to Cole during a timeout, and the crowd responded with a rousing standing ovation for the fourth-year guard who’s been to three Finals and won two rings.

Cole, a career backup, ended up outplaying Dragic, a third-team All-NBA performer last season and reigning Most Improved Player.

That in itself could’ve been an interesting storyline on any other night in the NBA regular season.

But on this night -- a night that saw an MVP candidate reinjure his shoulder while another franchise cornerstone lay in a hospital bed officially out for the season -- it was merely a footnote.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Chris Bosh
PTS AST STL MIN
21.1 2.2 0.9 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsH. Whiteside 9.2
AssistsG. Dragic 5.3
StealsM. Chalmers 1.6
BlocksH. Whiteside 2.4